Patronage: Emperor and Empire

October 2017 to October 2018

"The Emperor... who played the role of great patron well, had no need of guards because he was protected by his benefits."

Seneca, On Clemency, 1.13.5

Each year a team of undergraduate interns works with the Antiquities Museum to develop a small exhibition alongside their studies. The 2017 Interns have worked to produce an exhibition on the Emperor as the most important patron in Roman society.

The Emperor was patron to individuals and groups. In return for the support of the masses, the Emperor offered public amenities and entertainment, and handouts of grain and money. The elite helped him to govern the Empire, to keep it secure and to promote his achievements. In return, he provided administrative and military positions, exemption from legal constraints, and support for literary figures. He might also help the elite to fulfil their own obligations as private patrons.

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Curated by Dr Janette McWilliam and Mr James Donaldson with the 2017 Interns: Victoria Crossland, India Dixon, Georgina Jansen, and Kaeli Krakowski.